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Man charged with killing four people with poison appears in court

Stephen Port was charged with murdering the men aged between 21 and 25 between June 2014 and September of this year.

Man charged with killing four people with poison appears in court

A man charged with poisoning and murdering four young men whose bodies were dumped near a churchyard, was remanded in custody after appearing in court in London on Wednesday.

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Stephen Port was charged with murdering the men aged between 21 and 25 between June 2014 and September of this year.

Their bodies were found near a churchyard in Barking, east London, police said.

Port, 40, was also charged with four counts of administering poison with an intent to endanger life or inflict grievous bodily harm.

At a brief preliminary hearing at London's Old Bailey court on Wednesday, Port appeared by video link from prison wearing a bright green and yellow jumpsuit. He spoke only to confirm his name.

He allegedly met his victims -- Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth, and Jack Taylor -- through gay social networking websites, before drugging them with the party drug GHB.

GHB, known as "liquid ecstasy," is odourless, colourless and can lead to both euphoria and a loss of consciousness, according to the drugs advice website Talk to Frank. Data from the national statistics office showed that 12 people died from overdosing on the drug in Britain over 2014.

Port's lawyer said there would be no application for bail. The trial is provisionally set for next April and will last at least four weeks.

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